What the Microsoft-Skype Deal Means for Linux Users

posted in: Free Software, Technology | 1

As news of Microsoft’s $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype begins to surface, I cannot help but ask the question.  What does this mean for Linux users of Skype?  In the past, Microsoft has gone out of its way to make sure its software was not compatible with Linux, and Steve Ballmer has thrown his fair share of insults at free and open source software in general.  Does this mean Linux support for Skype will soon end?

Steve Ballmer


Windows Phone 7…Is It Just Me?

posted in: Gadgets | 0

Samsung Focus running Windows Phone 7Am I the only one who is not impressed with Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7?  Compared to the iPhone and various Android incarnations, the interface seems so boxy and bland.  Even the name is unimaginative.  But I suppose I should not expect anything more from a company that has a product simply called “Office”.

Even the handsets that Microsoft chose to put their OS on at release seem uneventful.  None of them stand out from other phones, or from each other, for that matter.  Maybe I’m just accustomed to higher standards, but shouldn’t everyone be?

Worst of all is that Microsoft has chosen to release this phone without full functionality (i.e. no multitasking or copy and paste).  That was bothersome for both iPhone and Android users until the developers fixed it, so it is not a surprise that Microsoft is following the trend.  Nevertheless, Microsoft cannot really afford to do this.  All of the other competing smartphone OSes have multitasking: Apple’s iOS, Android,whatever a Blackberry’s OS is called, and WebOS (from Palm).

Most are saying that Microsoft is too little, too late anyway, but if they had released something revolutionary, something that people just could not resist, maybe they would stand a chance.  That just did not happen.

Microsoft Security Credentials Revoked

posted in: Computers, The Web | 2

I was writing an article that had a section about Windows Media Center, and I came across this error when searching their site on Google:

Microsoft SSL certificate revoked

“This means that the security credentials of the server presented absolutely should not be trusted.”

I don’t know if this is Google Chrome’s way of saying the SSL certificate has expired or not.  “Revoked” seems rather harsh, unless the issuer truly snatched the certificate from Microsoft’s hands.

Is this true or just Google’s latest strategy to overthrow the mighty Microsoft?

The Year of the Linux Desktop Mobile Phone

posted in: Free Software, Technology | 0

Since its creation, over fifteen years ago, free software and open source advocates have longed for the day when masses of people around the world would adopt GNU/Linux or Linux (depending on who you ask). There is little doubt that the past five years have seen tremendous strides in Linux desktop adoption.

Some hardware vendors, such as Dell, now sell Linux desktop computers, although you have to page through their online catalog to find it, and their promotion of it seems spotty at best. The netbook craze has also seen the rise of several Linux offerings, but even the company that arguably started the netbook craze with its Eee PCs, Asus, still proudly displays “Better with Windows” on their website.